Keeping yourself Accountable to your goals
Don’t let your New Years resolutions fade.
It’s the last day in January. Typically this is the week where most people start fading in their New Years Resolutions. Health coaches are not excluded from this phenomenon!
This year I made the intention to meditate every single day. I even joined a support group on my meditation app! I have done many consecutive days in a row, but the last 5 days, I fell off. Ugh.
One day I woke up late and decided to skip meditation because I felt like I didn’t have time(in hindsight, I always have a minute to spare). Another day I popped into meditation but let my busy mind take over and I ended the session early. The next day I decided to just skip it because my mind was too busy and I didn’t want to spend time to ramp up into meditation.
Now 31 days into the New Year and I have already missed several days of my 365 commitment. The feeling of failure is looming over me.
But instead of going into why we might losing steam, I want to talk about how to get back on the horse, because I am not giving up on my goal- and you shouldn’t either!
Here are 5 ways of holding yourself accountable to your goals:
Re-frame your goals and strengthen your “why”
Look at the goals you have set for yourself. Why do you want to achieve this? Why is this important to you? No, really, why do you want to do this? If you do not have a compelling enough answer for your purpose, you are less likely to stick to your goals.
Example: “I want to meditate everyday in 2017, even if it’s just a minute”
Re-framed and strengthened: “I want to meditate 365 days in 2017 because meditation helps me; manage my stress, feel grateful for what I have, fight negative thought cycles, and nourish my body with breath. Meditation has proven itself to enrich all parts of my life when I do it consecutively and I will make time every morning to meditate”.
Make your new habit a priority
You set out to do something, but you don’t have enough time. Sound familiar? This means you still haven’t carved out the time in your schedule to do it.
Ever since I got my dog a year ago, my morning routine has become dog first. Then worry about my own needs. So when I started a meditation routine, I made sure to time it before I do anything for the dog, this also meant waking up earlier. When I started to miss days of meditation, I would wake up and auto-pilot to dog and then tell myself I would meditate later in the day, and forget.
Other times I would wake up late and choose to skip meditation so that I could make up for the time lost. So even though I carved out time for meditation, I still needed to actively choose meditation as a priority over all.
Re-framed and strengthened: One of the most effective ways to turn your goal into a habits is to plan. Good ol’ planning is still the way to go. Schedule,block out time, plan and prioritize everything around your new habit as well so you can have a plan in case something else gets in your way.
Learning more about your new habit is really helpful and can help strengthen your “why”. You can learn about things like how to eat healthy through reading books, watching documentaries, a blogger’s personal experience, talking to friends and industry professionals.
Example: I knew some things about mediation, breathing exercises and philosophy.
Schooled: I am reading and studying more meditation and breathing exercises. Expanding to other subjects regarding the importance of presence and consciousness. I’ve also started talking to more of my friends about meditation and many of them already have their own practice.
Reward and recharge yourself
Getting into a new habit means you’re probably working hard to change your lifestyle. This is a great opportunity to reward yourself for the hard work. We have been conditioned to seek out our vices for a reward, but I think this becomes counter-productive to the healthier lifestyle we are aiming for.
In this case, I suggest rewarding yourself with things like extra time to yourself, sending the laundry out, staying in on a Friday night, taking that class you always wanted, finally starting that book, buying organic teas or essential oils for yourself- whatever it takes to give yourself some much needed personal time to recharge yourself.
Example: Daily meditation practice.
Reward and recharge: As a reward and a different way to practice meditation, I scheduled myself time at the archery range every week. I normally go to the range sporadically, but making it a reward for meditation makes shooting even more enjoyable. I also like to reward myself with a sticker board! It’s silly but gold stars make me happy.
Find an accountability partner
This is a all too common, but getting someone who is truly committed with you can really make the difference. I’ve had accountability buddies before and it eventually fizzled out because we weren’t focused and other things in life started taking precedence.
However, having a really committed friend who is on the same page with you can really work. Who in your support network can you count on?
In my practice as a Holistic Health Coach, one of my biggest guns is holding my clients accountable to their goals each and every week. I find that when clients have someone to report to every week, they are more likely to succeed.
Of course, we all fall off the wagon, the key is reflecting on what happened and what we could do differently next time.
Let’s support each other!
We cannot do this alone! We all deserve support to get to our goals and dreams. So I created a special Facebook Group to help you keep accountable to your health goals for 2017.
Join me and many others in supporting each other! Every week I will be checking up on everyone, and we will all work together to get over obstacles that may come in your way.
Lucy Chen January 3, 2017
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